2/2015—Refurbished ‘HAMMAR’ Hydrostatic Release Units

The purpose of this notice is to notify ship owners and operators the existence of refurbished Hammar H20 Hydrostatic Release Units (HRU) that have been provided on a number of ships for use with life rafts.

AMSA understands that time-expired Hammar H20 HRUs are being refurbished and re-sold as new, genuine units by un-authorised agents.

The refurbished HRUs have had their genuine labels removed and substandard labels affixed. These labels were observed to erode away within a short time from installation.

If such a unit is discovered on board it should be replaced immediately.

Hydrostatic Release Unit operation

The Hydrostatic Release Unit (HRU) is designed and approved to automatically deploy a life raft or EPIRB in the event of a ship sinking if the life raft or EPRIB has not already been manually launched / deployed.

The manufacturer, HAMMAR, state the H20 HRU is to be disposed of at the end of its 2 year service life. By putting a time expired H20 HRU back into service, there is no guarantee that the unit will operate as required in the event of a ship sinking. This poses a serious risk to safety.

Identify, procure and maintain a genuine HRU

In order to ensure the safety of ships and the persons on board, ship owners and ship operators are encouraged to ensure that only genuine HRU’s from authorised distributors or service agents are procured.

The following information may assist to identify genuine HAMMAR H20 HRU’s

All Hammar H20 items produced after 24.02.2009 include a unique ‘Holospot’ security marking to help distinguish the genuine Hammar device from dangerous fake or refurbished units. In addition the serial number and production date have been moved next to the ­Holospot security marking.

  • The Holospot shimmers in rainbow colours when put under direct light.
  • The alphanumeric code is different on each product.
  • The serial number and production date can be found to the left of the Holospot®.


Further details and information on how to contact the manufacturer where concerns are raised regarding the authenticity of a product can be obtained from the manufacturer’s website:

Download Refurbished ‘HAMMAR’ Hydrostatic Release Units—marine notice 02/2015 (PDF 97 KB) (PDF 96.52 KB)

Gary Prosser
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
29 January 2015

Australian Maritime Safety Authority
GPO Box 2181
Canberra ACT 2601

Last updated: 

Wednesday 14 April 2021